Rent Smart Wales, the new registration and licensing system in Wales, goes live today – a and it represents a major change for the private rental sector in the principality.
Landlords will be able to register with Rentsmart Wales and begin their licensing applications. You will be able to do this online at: https://www.rentsmart.gov.wales/en/
Under the scheme all Landlords who let property in Wales must:
- Register themselves; and
- Register details of their rental properties before 23 November 2016.
- All managing agents and self-managing landlords (landlords who manage and/or undertake maintenance on their properties) must also:
- Apply for a licence
- Be a ‘fit and proper’ person
- Stick to the Code of Practice, to be agreed by the Welsh Assembly.
Landlords can choose to have an agent to undertake these management activities on their behalf, but you must use a licensed agent.
Landlords have one year to register and apply for a licence, before enforcement begins and the various penalties apply. However, it is important to understand what you will be required to do now, so you are ready and can make the necessary decisions.
It will become mandatory for all landlords to register themselves and details of their properties. If you manage and/or undertake maintenance on your properties, you along with all letting and managing agents will have to apply for a licence and meet various conditions (be a ‘fit and proper person’ and sign up to the code of practice, amongst other things).
A landlord who currently manages their property may choose not to apply for a licence, but must use a licensed agent to undertake ‘management activities, instead. If you choose this option you will effectively surrender the right to manage your rented property: this is a choice that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
It is the Residential Landlord Association’s (RLA) belief that most landlords with properties in Wales will want to keep the right to manage their property; most landlords will need to both register and obtain a licence.
The RLA have vigorously opposed the introduction of registration and licensing for landlords as we believe that it is an unnecessary distraction. However, it supports the measures for agents.